A church bus collided with an SUV near Lake Arrowhead, killing one person and injuring 23.
The accident occurred when a 1998 Bluebird bus that was returning from a church retreat in Twin Peaks drifted into oncoming traffic, hitting a Nissan Murano. The accident happened on a hairpin turn on California 189. The bus then drove down an embankment and hit a tree, killing the bus driver. The driver and the passenger in the SUV sustained mild injuries. Among the passengers on the bus, 21 were injured. Six remained in critical condition after the crash. One of the most seriously injured passengers is a 12 year old girl who suffered very severe head injuries.
According to officials, one of the reasons several people were injured so badly was because the school bus did not have seat belts. Passengers were thrown forward with a large amount of force when the accident occurred.
It’s unknown at this time what caused the bus to drift into oncoming traffic. The bus passed a commercial inspection last March. The road where the accident occurred was wet but not icy. Alcohol was not a factor in the crash. Reportedly, the bus driver had an excellent driving history and had a commercial driving license that allowed him to drive a passenger bus.
Although the cause of this accident is unknown and is still being investigated, frequently accidents like this are a result of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009 alone, over 5,000 people were killed and over 400,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted driving. Many of those accidents involved cell phones. Other common distractions include other passengers, GPS devices, and eating. To learn more about distracted driving, visit www.distraction.gov.
Have you been the victim of an automobile accident involving a distracted driver? If so, contact Orange County personal injury attorney Don Sjaarda at 714-963-8216 to learn more about your legal rights.